King Mahabali Story
In a time long gone by, there was a very powerful demon known by the name of Bali, from the family of Prahlad and Virochana, the demons of ancient India. By performing rigorous austerities, by charity, and by following hard disciplines, Maha Bali acquired so much power that he became invincible. He conquered the three worlds of Swarga Loka (Heaven), Bhu Loka (Earth), and Patal Loka (the Underworld); drove the gods out of their abode in Swarga Loka; and became the unchallenged king of all three worlds.
Maha Bali prohibited the worship of gods in the three lokas. When the dwellers of Maha Bhu Loka stopped per-forming the homa (fire sacrifice) and stopped making offerings to the gods, the gods began to starve because they drew their life force from the offerings made by the dwellers of Earth. The defeated gods assembled and went to Lord Brahma, creator of the world.
Save us, Grandsire,” they pleaded. “Save us from the tyranny of Bali. We have been excommunicated from our abode in Swarga Loka and are forced to hide from Bali’s soldiers as mere mortals on Earth. Please bring peace and happiness again to Earth and Heaven.
Lord Brahma consoled the gods, saying, “You have brought this disaster upon yourselves by indulging in enjoyment and amusement. You became proud of your powers and moved away from the path of discipline. “King Bali, on the contrary, is constantly involved in doing acts of virtue. He is disciplined and has taken a vow of charity. His doors are always open for the needy and poor and everyone gets whatever he or she asks for. “His meritorious acts and austere penances have made him invincible and no one is capable of defeating him in battle. I am practically helpless and cannot save you, but I have not lost hope. We should all go to see Lord Vishnu. He is our preserver, and he will definitely find a way to help you regain your abode.”
Taking Lord Brahma with them as their leader, the gods went to KshirSagar (the ocean of milk) where Lord Vishnu, preserver of the world, was resting on his serpent Shesha’s coiled body. His wife, Lakshmi, was, as usual, giving him a foot massage. The very sight of Lord Vishnu was a great relief. The gods cried out to him, “Save us, Lord! Save us from the tyranny of Bali! We have been driven out of our home. We have no food. You alone can save us from King Bali’s reign of terror.” Lord Vishnu understood the sorry plight of the gods and tired to console them. “Cast off your fears,” Lord Vishnu said.
I will definitely find a way to get you back your home and your glory. I cannot defeat Bali in battle because his penances, disciplined life, meritorious acts of charity, and the adherence to the path of virtue have made him invincible. The only may to conquer Bali is to trick him. I will disguise myself as a dwarf, born from the womb of Aditi, mother of the gods. Using my intelligence, I will trick Bali to get back your homeland and free the Earth so that human beings can once again make offerings to you. Do not lose courage,” Lord Vishnu told them. “Have faith and go back to your shelters.